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Petrus Boeri

French Benedictine canonist and bishop (d. ca. 1388)

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Boeri (BOHIER), PETRUS, a French Benedictine canonist and bishop, b. during the first quarter of the fourteenth century at Laredorte, department of Aude, canton of Peyriac Minervois; d. probably 1388. Of his early life nothing is known. In 1350, when he is first mentioned, Boeri was Abbot of St. Chinian (St.-Anianus, Herault) in the small Diocese of Saint-Pons de Tomieres (Sancti Pontii Tomeriarum) which at that time formed a part of the Metropolitan Province of Narbonne. By his virtue and learning he attracted the favorable notice of Urban V, who appointed him Bishop of Orvieto, November 16, 1364. A few years later (October 7, 1370) he was transferred by the same pontiff to the See of Vaison, near Avignon in France. But in 1371, shortly after Urban’s death, he returned to Orvieto and remained in possession of that see until June 28, 1379, when he was deprived of his bishopric by Urban VI for having espoused the cause of the Antipope Robert of Geneva, then reigning at Avignon as Clement VII. Upon his subsequent withdrawal to France he served Charles V in the capacity of ambassador to the pontifical court at Avignon. (Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, II, 27-28.) However, August 31, 1387, Clement VII likewise deposed him from his episcopal office and entrusted the temporal and spiritual administration of Orvieto to Thomas de Jarente, Bishop of Grasse. Boeri died shortly afterwards. He was the author of two commentaries on the Rule of St. Benedict; in one, written when he was Abbot of St. Chinian, he deals with the Rule from the point of view of the canonist; in the other, written in the Sacro Speco at Subiaco when he was Bishop of Orvieto, he deals with it more from the point of view of the ascetic. He dedicated the later commentary to Charles V, King of France. He also wrote a commentary on the Constitution “Pastor bonus” of Benedict XII; “Speculum Monachorum”; “De Signis locutionum”; “Notae in Damasi Pontificale” (an annotated copy of the “Liber Pontificalis“, likewise dedicated to Charles V); and began at Rouen in 1379 a treatise on the question of calling a general council with a view to ending the deplorable schism then distracting the Church. This treatise remained unfinished. With the exception of “In Regulam S. P. Benedicti Commentarium” (ed. Dom Leone Allodi, Subiaco, Rome), and “Notae in Damasi Pontificale” Boeri’s works have never been printed.


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